Legislative and agency mandates require that natural area planners and managers establish standards of quality for both biophysical and social indicators. In particular, managers of designated wilderness and other protected areas are challenged to specify indicators and standards of quality related to appropriate levels and types of recreation use. Visitors' perceptions of an acceptable number of encounters with other visitors (i.e., visitor encounter norms) obtained through behavioral research can assist administrators in making these decisions. To illustrate the potential usefulness of visitor encounter norms in identifying indicators and standards of quality for the visitor experience, this paper employs data from a 1991 study conducted in northeastern Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Managers of the wilderness area used results from this study to develop several indicators and standards of quality related to appropriate numbers of wilderness encounters. Each of these empirically supported indicators and standards of quality, which are outlined in a recently completed wilderness management plan, have been well received by the public.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Natural Areas Journal|
|State||Published - Apr 1 1996|